Electric Cables – What is Legal
We get a lot of questions about which electric cables are legal and how they must be installed. So here is a brief rundown of the different types of legal cabling available and the way an installation could be done. There are various accepted methods and we illustrate a general one here. When a builder has to wire a home, he will first lay conduits, which are plastic or metal pipes fixed in place above the plastic damp-proof underlay and the steel reinforcing. (See the picture above.)
These pipes are laid out according to the house plans and extend upwards from the floor and will be built into the walls later when the bricklayers start their work. The concrete for the floors will then be placed, and the conduits will run within the floor slab. From there they can be chased, or cut, into the walls so that they can be routed to various outlet points where plug points and lights are required.
Surfix and Flat-Twin-and-Earth cables
The electrician will later pull the wires through these tubes. There are classes of cable that do not need to be encased in conduit and can be chased into, and laid directly under the plaster. Two examples of these are Surfix and Flat-Twin-and-Earth cables. A full specification can be found in the Aberdare brochure below. When the roof is on and waterproof the cables can also be laid in the roof space for overhead lighting and other fittings.
Be Guided by What the Law Says about Electricity and Electric Cables
By law, a fully qualified and registered electrician must be responsible for the wiring. It is a good idea for all homeowners to familiarise themselves with and be able to identify, different types of cable and flex to ensure that all materials used in the installation are up to standard (literally – they need to meet the relevant South African National Standard). The National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act does not cover electricity and nor does SANS 10400. Electricians must comply with SANS 10142: The Wiring of Premises.
Depending on the class of cable the non-conductive insulation material around the wires inside cables and flex are different colours to make it easy to identify them. Green, or green and yellow, is the earth; live wires are brown or red; and neutral is either light blue or black. Once the wiring in a building is complete the entire system must be checked by an accredited person (from Eskom or the municipality/ local authority) who will issue a certificate of compliance.
A Registered Professional Is Needed When Installing Electric Cables in the Home
When it comes to electrical installations, it is always recommended to use a registered professional. Electrical work in the home can be complex and potentially dangerous if not done properly, which is why it is essential to hire a qualified electrician to install electric cables. In this article, we will discuss why a registered professional is needed when installing electric cables in the home.
The primary reason to hire a registered professional for electrical installations is safety. Electricity can be dangerous if not handled correctly, and a licensed electrician has the knowledge and expertise to install electric cables safely. They understand the correct procedures for grounding and bonding, and they know how to work with live wires without putting themselves or anyone else in danger. They also have the proper tools and equipment to do the job safely and efficiently, reducing the risk of accidents or injuries.
Another reason to hire a registered professional when installing electric cables in the home is to ensure compliance with electrical codes and regulations. These codes are designed to ensure the safety of the electrical system and prevent hazards such as electrical shocks, fires, and other dangerous situations. A licensed electrician has a thorough understanding of these codes and regulations and will install electric cables in compliance with them. This ensures that the electrical system is safe and up to code, reducing the risk of accidents and injuries.
A registered professional electrician has the knowledge and experience to do the job right the first time. They understand the correct methods and techniques for installing electric cables, and they have the necessary tools and equipment to do the job correctly. This results in high-quality workmanship that is reliable and long-lasting, reducing the risk of future electrical problems or failures.
Another reason to hire a registered professional electrician when installing electric cables is insurance. If an unlicensed person does electrical work in your home and something goes wrong, you may not be covered by your insurance policy. This means that any damage or injuries resulting from the electrical work will be your responsibility. However, if a licensed electrician does the work, they are typically insured, and any damages or injuries resulting from the work will be covered by their insurance policy.
Finally, a registered professional electrician typically offers a warranty for their work. This means that if anything goes wrong with the electrical installation within a certain period of time, they will come back and fix it at no extra cost. This provides peace of mind and ensures that the electrical work is done correctly the first time. In conclusion, when it comes to electrical installations, it is always best to hire a registered professional. They have the knowledge, expertise, and experience to install electric cables safely and correctly, ensuring compliance with electrical codes and regulations. They also provide quality workmanship, insurance, and a warranty, giving you peace of mind and protecting you from potential hazards and liabilities.
Aberdare Cables have an excellent brochure (see below) that should help to identify the various cables associated with the electrical installation in a house.
[Note that we have no affiliation with this company and reference to their brochure does not imply any particular recommendation.]